Why the NYT hired a science denier


Not wanting a Trump supporting op-ed person is probably actually linked with not wanting a Sanders enthusiast.

Once you exclude the…somewhat downmarket… options, who don’t even know how to put xenophobia tactfully, Trump support and Sanders support are both where you find the people who think that perhaps the glorious globalized meritocracy has been a trifle oversold, and that the losers in this majestic new order have little to gain by supporting it.


Oh well thank Dog! My mind is at ease now!!!



Maybe the NYT is stating a ‘Full of Shit’ section.


A tiger is a dangerous threat
Well known

There’s a tiger here
I can see it right there

I can successfully escape the tiger before it harms me
Not yet established

Better not do anything!


The “straight reporting” that consistently refers to murderous Jewish terrorists as settlers and murderous Palestinian terrorists as gunmen? Is that the straight, unbiased, totally unskewed narrative you mean?

I will give the NYT kudos for well written, informative articles. But it is not and has never been an unbiased source; it presents a distinctly New York narrative, seeing every issue from the viewpoint of New York City urban families. The fact that it is far superior to a typical Gannett, Hearst or News Corp rag is primarily due to the lack of integrity of the aforementioned.




“Liberal” viewpoint: Government intervention is warranted to help reduce cancer deaths from cigarettes.

“Conservative” viewpoint: Government intervention is not warranted since cancer deaths from cigarettes are a matter for market forces and/or personal responsibility.

Intellectually dishonest asshole/delusional rube viewpoint: There is no evidence linking cancer deaths to cigarettes.

So it is with climate change. It’s one thing to include a wide variety of viewpoints regarding policy, quite another to include a wide variety of viewpoints questioning objective reality.


I’ve read one recent nyt op ed that struck me as above average.


Until the NYT hires someone who recognizes the threat vampires and zombies pose to the survival of our species and civilization they are not really presenting all viewpoints. Why do our politicians ignore this issue? Are they in the pockets of the big blood banks? Are they “secret zombies” themselves? An informed public is a safe public.


Please, tell me the view on a New York City urban family. I’m just gonna guess by the first sentence of your comment that you’re not referring to the African-American or Hispanic point of view.

ETA: To be clear, I think your comment is bordering on some touchy anti-Semitic tropes.


o_0 “anti-Semitic tropes”?

He just gave an example of bias in their reporting. Israel is complicated and while in general I am pro-Israel, but it is hard to support every action they have made over there. Pointing out they have a bias is a fair criticism which one may disagree with, but I am not sure how can be bordering on Anti-Semitic.


That’s always a hazard when discussing the pro-Israel bias of American mainstream news outlets. Unfortunately it’s the clearest, easiest example of NYT bias, everything else I know of can be argued. For the record I am as pro-Jewish as an anti-Zionist can be; I can’t endorse the specifically Zionist flavors of Judaism but I normally spend six or seven days a week in the company of non-Zionist Jews who I love and support.

@chgoliz has pointed out before that I am somewhat prejudiced against city dwellers. That is, somewhat to my chagrin, a fair evaluation. I haven’t met any city dwellers who weren’t at least as prejudiced against country folk, but that’s probably because I avoid cities whenever possible.


The question is, who subscribes to newspapers nowadays? The demographics of newspaper subscribers overlap with the demographics of conservatives more than liberals - and this trend will continue in the next few years. Expect all print papers to become more right wing in the views presented.


With that statement, you reveal yourself to be exactly as prejudiced as you perceive city dwellers to be; there’s no “somewhat” about it. At least you’re aware of it, I guess.


I can give some examples.

It makes sense for New York City dwellers to believe that the electoral college is an obsolete and counterproductive institution; when it is pointed out to them that abolishing it would mean that the five largest cities in the country would effectively cast the only meaningful votes, and that food-producing states would have no influence in presidential politics, they are unlikely to see a problem.

It makes some sense for New York City dwellers to believe in strong gun control, because they live in a densely populated area where even heavily armed criminals can be defeated by cheap communication devices, and the likelihood of accidental injury from powerful weapons is higher than in rural areas. If their police aren’t corrupt, it is completely sensible for urbanites to support extremely invasive weapon controls.

New York City families rarely know where their water comes from, and are more likely to believe that access to water is a human right than rural families are (because of physical realities obvious to rural folk).

New York City families are typically 2 weeks away from cannibalism at all times, and completely unaware of it. Obviously this does not apply to Mormon NYC dwellers and their ilk.

I could probably go on and on, but hopefully you see my point. The viewpoint from a mountain is different from the viewpoint from the plains; so obviously urban families (especially ones who have lived for many generations in cities) are going to have an urban viewpoint, not a rural one.

Well, I’m working on it. In the meantime be aware that I’m far more likely to notice the flaws of urbanites than those of my country (bump)kin, but I am equally willing to criticize or praise either one!


Stephens’ science denialism is mere opportunism–a mostly unintentional side effect of his overall conservative ideology. If science said something he liked, he’d be pro-science.

I mention it not to excuse him or the NYT, but to point out that the Times has made worse decisions in this regard. In fact, they hired maybe the worst possible science commentator ever: John Tierney. Gave him a whole recurring online feature (“TierneyLab”) from which to spout his particular brand of highly engineered anti-science toxin.

The schtick was that science was always telling us stuff we didn’t want to hear (stop eating junk food, recycle, the planet is dying), and that’s all well and good, but scientists are supposed to be skeptical, and what’s more skeptical than a journalist with zero science background starting from the assumption that every scientific consensus is wrong? Isn’t he really the scientist, since he’s free from all the dogma that working scientists had to swallow to get their degrees?

Amazingly, Tierney’s skepticism somehow always led to conclusions (stop bothering with nutritional information, stop making people recycle, the planet is fine) that fit with his overall corporate libertarian politics. But you really had to witness the arrogance firsthand (note: I do not recommend the experience) to understand. Tierney went into his NYT gig knowing less than a high school student about science and left it knowing less than a fourth-grader, but he was smart enough in other ways to leverage that ignorance into a lot of outraged clicks.


I completely agree.

Whether or not cigarettes are causational to cancer is a question which can be settled objectively.

Whether or not government intervention is required is a values question to be worked out in the political arena.

My view on climate change follows exactly the same reasoning.


Where did you get this idea from? The reservoir system is pretty well known. They might not know all of the upstate sources exactly, but there’s a general understanding.


As I’ve said on another thread, it’s my sense that the BB editors and article curators tend to be urban core residents, and the selection of articles reflects that.

Things which negatively impact urban core dwellers, particularly London, NYC and the SF metro area, are Problems, and things which negatively impact those who live in suburbs, small towns, and rural areas…well, there’s not enough coverage to reach a conclusion.